Tour de Art and Parking to Sioux Falls and Lincoln already paying off

It’s an exciting time to live in Fargo. It’s fun to see the rest of the nation finding out what we already know, our quality of life is high and it’s a nice place to live.

While its interesting to see our city rank well in so many economic and livability lists we know we can do better.

At this time when our community is making needed investments in key large scale projects already underway, there are wonderful possibilities. We heard from over 8,000 people in creating our Fargo GO 2030 plan, that it’s important to make the most of these opportunities to add value and create beautiful spaces for people to use and enjoy for generations within these projects:

  • Downtown flood protection
  • Moving 2nd Street west to more stable ground that provides an expanded greenway and river walk
  • New city hall
  • Incorporating more public art and functional art
  • Adding strategically placed mixed use parking facilities that keeps high value space on sidewalks for retail, commercial.

Our 37 hour whirlwind Tour de Art and Parking is already paying off. On Tuesdays Fargo commission agenda two items are:

1. Feasibility of converting Civic or another existing building to a 2,000 – 2,400 seat performing arts facility.

2. Thorough comparative analysis of use, size, siting for most overall community benefit of a possible conference/convention facility

It was very helpful to see some examples of these types of projects already in place in peer cities.

Thanks to wonderful leadership of Charley Johnson and the Fargo Visitors Center working with the city of Fargo, a group of 40 Fargo leaders took a two day bus trip to visit Sioux Falls South Dakota and Lincoln Nebraska. The tour group included artists, architects, developers, Fargo Visitor Center staff, Downtown Community Partnership, Fargodome staff and board members, NDSU, representatives from the FM Chamber and FMEDC, city planners and administration, media, and Fargo elected officials.

Our Fargo group for Tour de Art and Parking to Sioux Falls and Lincoln

During a portion of our travel time, some tour members shared what they or their organization are working on for goals, trends, challenges and opportunities.

The tour group met the people that helped bring these projects to fruition at the sites. Projects we visited and learned about in Sioux Falls were:

Falls Park and connection to downtown,

Falls Park in Sioux Falls

Sculpture Walk a defined area downtown exhibiting sculptures from around the globe

Forum reporter Erik Burgess took this nice picture while on our Tour de Art and Parking

 

Washington Pavilion a historic high school transformed into performing arts and science museum.

magnificent 1,800 seat performing arts space built into Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls

Downtown riverfront a newly constructed River Greenway along the Big Sioux River

While in Lincoln:

New developments in the Haymarket a tired warehouse district converted to a vibrant entertainment and technology hub,

Haymarket/Railyard in Lincoln Nebraska is growing well

New Pinnacle Bank Arena and events center in Hay Market district is in the background and has been a catalyst for more fun and development.

New mixed use parking facilities that have retail, commercial and office on sidewalks and residences or hotels wrapped around, or on, parking structures that add value and spin off benefit for increased economic activity

Larson Building is mixed use with integrated parking

Panel sessions where people that helped with these developments shared various ways they’ve collaborated to plan and finance these successful community projects.

Here are a few links of news stories from our whirlwind Tour de Art and Parking:

Lincoln news 

Sioux Falls:

KFGO

We’re doing well in Fargo but there’s lots of room for improvement. Working together, and continuing to engage people to implement the priorities of Fargo GO2030, the best is yet to come.

Avatar of Mike Williams

About Mike Williams

Name: Mike Williams Location: Fargo, North Dakota Website: http://www.electwilliams.com Occupation: Risk Manager Family Mutual Insurance Fargo City Commissioner since 2004, re-elected in 2008 and 2012 About Me: I'm a pragmatic optimist that's grateful for all the wonderful people in my life
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